SalesTech Star

Data Essentials in a Down Economy

Clean, deduplicated, and segmented data will increase revenue, but not in a way that looks pretty on an executive dashboard. Still, it’s critical to your progress right now. 

While the impacts of recent changes to the economy have been most visible in the tech industry, all areas of the economy are being affected. Interest rates are rising, home sales have dropped, and consumers are reducing their discretionary spending due to inflation. The result is that companies throughout different sectors are no longer focusing on “growth at any cost” (if they ever were), nor even “efficient growth”. The current focus is holding on to the business you have and taking advantage of every opportunity that comes your way.

While it’s not “sexy”, improving the quality of your data at the beginning of the funnel can have huge downstream effects on the rest of the funnel. Processes will run more smoothly with less human intervention and manual work, reporting will be more accurate enabling the business to make better decisions, and teams will be able to use their time to focus on complex projects that have bigger impacts on growing business.

Read More: SalesTechStar Interview with Erik Darby, VP of Business Development, BetterUp

From Talking the Talk to Walking the Walk

It’s hard for many companies to know where to start, but the issue is being forced by layoffs and budget cuts. You can no longer “talk the talk” of doing more with less, you have to “walk the walk” as well. Companies are no longer interested in ROI, which shows FUTURE benefit for investments made now, but in VALUE, which is what benefit processes and technologies are providing TODAY.

Whether you’re working in RevOps, MarketingOps, SalesOps, or Business IT, streamlining processes, filling the leaky holes in your funnel, and minimizing time-consuming manual work is critical to continuing to make progress in a potentially recessionary, but at least slowing, economy.

Building a Solid Data Foundation

So first, the essentials. And I mean that literally. I coined the phrase Data Essentials a few years ago, because focusing on the foundation is essential to making everything else work better. By starting with automated and continuous cleaning of the data from your database(s) of record, you ensure that the data in your database is functional. From functional data, you can have reliable processes and reporting. Reliable processes mean less tedious manual work and more trust between teams. Reliable reporting means more accurate forecasting and improved decision-making, because you know what you’re seeing is what’s really happening with your business.

Anyone who works with data knows it’s impossible to extract information, analyze, or use that data if it’s messy. And by messy I mean various country formats, hundreds of industries, job titles that can’t be easily parsed for level or role, and U.S. postal codes that are only four digits long, because the leading zero for a northeastern zip code has been removed because, once upon a time, that data was in Excel.

Taking the Next Steps: Enrich, Deduplicate, Segment

Once you know what you have, you can move on to other foundational steps: enrichment of missing/old data; deduplication of leads, contacts, and accounts; and segmentation into classifications that make sense for your business. It also means de-siloing data that is stored in multiple systems which are isolated from each other, to provide more access to more data points that can be synthesized with the rest of your data to get more answers for your business.

None of this will impress your leadership.

Plugging Leaks and Impressing Executives

Only those deep in the data ever get excited about clean data, integrated systems, or automated processes. It doesn’t immediately or obviously increase revenue, gain more traction with your audience, or cause a huge number of new leads to visit your website.

What clean, deduplicated, and segmented data does is enable all your processes to work better. That means it will, ultimately, increase revenue, but not in a way that most executives will understand originated from functional data.

Having clean, enriched, deduplicated, segmented data means you can target the right audiences with the right messages. It means you can invite more people to an event in a specific geography. It means that leads get routed to the right reps and SDRs, rather than falling into black holes because they are mis-routed. It means you get insight into your target accounts because you can match new leads to the accounts as soon as they come in.

Dirty data is linked to a 10% loss of revenue by almost half of respondents in a recent Validity report. A 10% loss is a lot when you’re reporting to your investors or the stock market.

All of this sums up to plugging the leaks in your funnel, which will impress your executives.

But you have to start with the foundation.


Read More: The Power Of Predictive: How Tech Can Unlock Sales Planning To Support Growth Goals